Satellite communication company Hughes completed the installation of a network in low Earth orbit at an air base in Greenland.
The approximately 600 workers who reside at Thule Air Base can now access high speed broadband internet for the first time thanks to Hughes and its project partner, the Air Force Research Lab, the Germantown, Maryland-based company said Wednesday.
Brian Bealprogram officer at AFRL, noted that the connectivity experiment in Thule offers the legitimacy of LEO networks as a viable option for outposts whose remoteness makes it difficult to easily access the internet.
“Thule residents have been thrilled with both the performance and stability of the network as they have used it to connect with family, friends and colleagues around the world,” Beal continued.
Working in unison, Hughes and the AFRL would have overcome the challenges of the extreme weather – as Thule Base is located at the northernmost point of any US military entity in the world – to achieve the objective. They used site surveys and consulted with base logistics teams to remove environmental barriers.
A team of Hughes engineers developed, implemented and launched the LEO network in Thule via the company’s OneWeb satellite constellation. The installation includes four antennas which provide nearly 14 terabytes of data per month.
Now, with the access provided by LEO connectivity, personnel at Thule Air Base can use the Internet to conduct experiments, video conference, stream video, contact friends, and occupy virtual private networks.
In April, it was announced that in conjunction with OneWeb Technologies, Hughes would provide low earth orbit data at the Ministry of Defence. This transaction is the result of the company’s successful launch of the LEO communications network in Thule.